One-way link building is a great way to improve your link popularity and ranking
in the search engines. One-way links are more difficult to obtain than
traditional reciprocal links, but pay off in securing solid long-term search
engine ranking results.
Why Are One-Way Links Helpful?
Link building in general is an important part of making sure your site ranks
well in the search engines. Google and many of the other search engines include
link popularity as part of the way they evaluate the web pages they include in
the search engine databases. Links are seen as a positive "vote" towards the
quality of the web page. Each individual page acquires link popularity based on
the pages that link to it. Google and Yahoo both have toolbars showing the page
rank of pages you visit, so you can use these tools to get a good estimate of
your pages' link popularity. It is not necessary to get totally caught up in the
minutia of which types of links from which types of pages are the most
important. The bottom line is this: acquiring links pointing back to your
website, particularly links from sites covering the same or related topics as
your site, is helpful in the overall scheme of search engine ranking.
The big "plus" of one-way links is that you don't have to worry about linking
back to a "bad neighborhood". If your site has links pointing back to sites that
serve as "link farms" or "free-for-all" sites, you may not gain, and could
actually lose page rank. These sites are rarely focused, and tend to have links
to and from all different sorts of sites. Since there is no particular topical
emphasis here, it is clear to Google and the other search engines that the sole
purpose of these sites is to artificially increase the number of links pointing
to your site. Since there is no value added for the search engine's users, they
in turn give no value to these links.
Another advantage to these focused, one-way links is that they will tend to stay
in place. A website that features a link to your site probably does so because
that site's owner thinks that their visitors will benefit from the content your
site has to offer. Rather than simply trying to manipulate search results, they
want to add to the experience of their visitors; you benefit from having a long
term link in place. Sites featuring reciprocal links may simply drop your link
when it no longer suits their linking strategy.
How Do I Obtain Natural Links?
Building good content helps interest your visitors and keeps them on your
website. By becoming an authority on your topic, you will attract more visitors.
When another website in essence "votes" for the quality of your website by
placing a link pointing back to it, you are obtaining natural linking. The more
you can build upon helpful articles, FAQs and white papers, etc., the better
reason for visitors to link back to your website because of the quality content.
One-Way Linking Sources
There are a number of ways to get links from other sites back to yours. The most
important principle to keep in mind is that you will get the most links when you
offer something significant to link to. Think of what you can provide that
people will want to link to:
- Natural links given from topic-related websites that like your website
- Providing free content, such as access to articles, e-books, FAQ's and white
- Directory links, listed under the category related to your topic
- Business directory links, listed under the category related to your topic
- Blogs, submitted to a blog directory and archived online
- Business associations, listed under the category related to your topic
- Newsletter text ads promoting your business, archived online at topic-related
- Original articles, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites
- Original press releases, submitted to and archived online at topic-related
- Original newsletters, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites
- White papers, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites
- E-books, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites
- Free software tools provided with required link back to website
For each of these types of content, you will want to have an active link
pointing back to your site. Of course, when creating your own original content,
always archive your own work on your website to build your content and increase
your own link popularity by growing the number of pages on your website.
The extra value of one-way links is the fact that you are also promoting your
website from the listing as well as the active link. Articles, newsletters,
white papers, directory and business association links may bring in traffic from
visitors who are interested in the description of your website listing.
How Do I Know The Links Are Valid?
To gain the most benefit from your links, the link back to your web page should
be one that can be followed by the search engine robots. Plain old text links
and image links usually can be followed by the search engine robots. More exotic
search engine robots. When you provide suggested linking code, the simpler the
better. Don't be afraid to suggest linking formats to owners of sites that link
to you. The types of links that serve your purposes best will generally provide
their visitors with the best experience as well.
Check to see if the page where the link will be located can be found in the
search engine results. You can search via the entire website or by individual
page. Different search engines use different syntax in looking for individual
pages and links; refer to the advanced search function for each search engine
Google Search Example:
Shows indexing of all pages listed in website
Shows indexing of a specific web page in website
If the page is listed in the search engine results, this means the page has been
indexed by the search engine robots. This means the web page is valid for
indexing and that your link will be picked up as well.
Research And Quality Content Equal Success
One-way link building means hard work and long term determination to achieve
good link popularity. By improving the quality of your website, you improve the
chance to obtain good quality natural links. Spend a set amount of time each
week to seek out quality one-way links to achieve your goal. By using this
long-term game plan you will be able to safely build links for optimum link
July 8, 2004
Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation, a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her own company, Daria is an associate of WebMama.com, an Internet web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical book publishing company.